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The vandalism of a tourist austrian to take a selfie, you sat on the statue of Paolina Borghese by Antonio Canova , broke the toes of a work in plaster that is considered as the best european sculptor since Bernini. The tourist fled, without realizing that it had been filmed by the cameras of the Museum Bistolfi Antonio Canova Possagno, municipality of the province of Treviso in the Veneto region. The complaint has been made by the art critic and senator Vittorio Sgarbi, president of the Foundation Antonio Canova.
In the social network describes the episode, which occurred last Friday, as a true “outrage” to the art and to common sense , and calls to the justice and law enforcement an exemplary punishment: “After the re-opening of museums, including the Museo Possagno Bistolfi of Possagno – says Sgarbi – has produced an episode sensational, that does not come from visitors, italians, or citizens not belonging to the European Union, but of an unconscious tourist austrian who has decided to pose for a selfie sitting in the Paolina Borghese, breaking the fingers of the feet.
I ask the police and the judiciary with clarity and rigor, identifying the vandal and not allowing it to remain unpunished and return to their homeland. The outrage to Canova is unacceptable.” Sgarbi echoes the outrage that the case has been made on the social networks: “I Hope he gets arrested quickly and you can hold for at least one or two days: you must understand the extent of stupidity unprecedented that he has committed. I hope also that he may be tried in Italy”.
Before the concerns about the security of the museum and if the incident could have been avoided, the president of the Foundation, Vittorio Sgarbi, and the address of the museum have pointed out that there was no neglect: “The guards were on duty, but there are many works. In a few minutes damage was detected and gave the alarm, declaring the emergency situation immediately “. The carabinieri have reviewed the images from the cameras and the names of the tourists who visited the museum on Friday. According to the Italian legislation against the Covid, you must register all names of visitors to museums, even bars and restaurants. The aim is to quickly identify the “vandal austrian”, although it is not certain who is still in Italy.
The damaged work is preserved in the museum of Possagno from 1829. It is the original model of plaster of the impressive masterpiece of marble exposed in the Borghese Gallery in Rome. Antonio Canova was born in Possagno (1757), which has established the museum Foundation, chaired by Vittorio Sgarbi, housing valuable works and plaster casts of incalculable value. To Canova, a neo-classical style inspired above all by the art of Ancient Greece, is called by them “the new Phidias”, the most famous sculptor of Ancient Greece.
Proposal against the vandals
in view of the frequency with which they occur, the acts of vandalism against works of art, presented a draft law in the Parliament. The initiative provides for a maximum of eight years in prison and fines of up to 100,000 euros for those who damage works of art. The first signing of the draft law is the leader of Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni. If this policy was already in force, the “vandal unconscious”, as defined by Sgarbi, could run the risk of up to five years in prison and a fine of 30 thousand euros. If the damage to the work of art be irreversible, the years of imprisonment may increase up to a maximum of eight. Not this would be the case for the tourist austrian, because the Paolina Borghese by Canova in Possagno will be promptly restored.
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